August 7, 2010

"The New Deal is demographically obsolete. You can’t fund the dream of the 1960s on the economy of 2010."

Says Richard Lamm, the former Governor of Colorado. A Democrat.

119 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

So do the old people still have a duty to die?

Peter Friedman said...

The New Deal is demographically obsolete because almost everyone who remembers why we desperately need things like Social Security, Keynesian economics, the GI Bill, federal investment in infrastructure, etc. is dead or nearly dead.

mesquito said...

By my reckoning, the dream of the 1960s would suck up the gross national product several times over.

And the dreamers would still be sullen and froward.

Lem said...

The new deal is we get to obsess over an oil leak while the fed shoots more red ink than a Hawaiian Volcano.

Larry J said...

Those with government pensions keep demanding more benefits that the rest of us can't afford. They expect us to have to live on dog food so they can eat steak. There is a storm brewing. Something tells me this isn't going to end well.

rhhardin said...

You'd think RICO would cover the public union pension problem; maybe jail a few politicians as well.

rhhardin said...

And future income promises would seem to fall under one legislature not being able to bind following ones.

Take that into account when you make a deal with the state.

rhhardin said...

When NYC went bust in the 70s, bondholders discovered they had zero rights in the matter. Municipal Assistance Corporation appeared and gave them nice new bonds for their dirty old bonds.

Those that went through that learned not to buy municipal bonds, or at least to depend on something more than the stated rules.

rick said...

It will be interesting to see in what form the coming tax revolt takes place.

Most states are flat broke funding the generous pensions that public service unions bought with their campaign contributions. If the pension calculations were "promises" as stated in the article, those "promises" were tainted because they were purchased.

I would have no problem breaking that "promise".

edutcher said...

The dream of the 1960s was realized when The Zero was inaugurated and the Pelosi Galore Congress sworn in.

The dream of the 60s is, of course, and always was, a nightmare.

Paul Zrimsek said...

So do the old people still have a duty to die?

He was for death panels before they were death panels.

meep said...

you didn't put in the best part of the quotes:

“We have to do what unions call givebacks,” said Mr. Lamm, the former Colorado governor. “That’s the only way to sanity. Any other alternative, therein lies dragons.”

traditionalguy said...

How is King Faisal doing on sale of oil? We can drill for oil and mine for coal, or we can kill off our medical care system and erect earmark worthless windmills for Dem supporters. Hmmm? the next election will be our choice between those two options.

AprilApple said...

Some democrats wake up a little. Most do not.

ddh said...

As Herb Stein used to say, if something can't go on forever, it won't.

New Deal programs were predicated on the assumption that most people would not live long enough to collect. FDR died two years before he would have been eligible for Social Security. Nevertheless, I doubt FDR would have endorsed Gov. Lamm's notorious statement that the old have a duty to die. I know I don't.

HDHouse said...

rick said...
"Most states are flat broke funding the generous pensions that public service unions bought with their campaign contributions".

Well rick, that is both wrong and misses the point. New York public employee pensions are tagged at a whopping 3% return and have been for 30+ years. Employees also PAY INTO the pension system - it isn't free and during times of higher interest and inflation, it was a loosing proposition.

The "demographic" point is that there are too few payers in to sustain the system. That has always been the point in pension systems private and public. It is that ratio that is critical.

If you knew anything at all about this you would know that the higher the payer to payee ratio is the better the economy functions. One reason that Europe is constantly in a mess in this regard is that the ration is near even or in a negative. It is a numbers game from which their is no escape.

This has been compounded by constantly draining the funds to meet other general revenue needs - and that happens in the private sector as well as the public one; union or non union is in the same boat.

To plant this on the unions as you did tells me/all that you don't get it and you are putting up a strawdog to hide what you don't know.

rick said...

HDH

I personally know a state trooper who retired at 42 with a FULL pension, moved to AZ to become a....state trooper. This party is no going to go on forever.

Tell me again I am full of horse crap.

Patent pending.

jayne_cobb said...

Rick,

Here in PA it is common practice for teachers to put in 20 years, retire, and then move to NJ to start teaching.

Hell, they saw nothing wrong with it and in fact admitted it to us as students back in high school.

AJ Lynch said...

Hardin is correct. The politicians wrote checks [pension promises] tha they knew the states could not cover.

It's a bigger scandal than Enron and someone should go to jail. But they won't.

John Lynch said...

And if you don't listen, he'll cancel your Olympics.

EnigmatiCore said...

The New Deal was a 60s dream?

EnigmatiCore said...

"why we desperately need things like Social Security, Keynesian economics, the GI Bill, federal investment in infrastructure"

We desperately need these things?

Eh, let's leave aside on what we disagree. Instead, let's together bemoan the fact that neither party spends on infrastructure.

Hagar said...

For the boomers, anything before 1970 is in the blurry mists of ancient history and all kind of blend together.

somefeller said...

Whatever the merits of this argument are, I'm not sure I'd look at Richard Lamm as a go-to person on this issue. As others have mentioned here, he has something of a loopy alarmist history when it comes to government fiscal issues (duty to die, Denver Olympics, running in 1996 as the VP candidate for the Reform Party). I'd agree that there will probably have to be changes to state pension systems, but one has to remember that aside from fiscal questions, there are genuine property rights issues here, namely to what extent can the state take away something that has been purported to be a property right (you have a right get this pension of you do all the right things for years leading up to retirement) without adequate due process, at least for those who already are retired.

traditionalguy said...

This is actually funny. in 1992 the Bushes first President announced the start of a new world order. Over the next 16 years most labor used in manufacturing in the USA was quickly shipped overseas. The American economy was thereby destroyed, but that destruction was masked by a Dot Com./Y2k spending bubble followed by a housing bubble during Clinton and the Bushes second President. The day the pre-1992 World Order restarts is the day that Social Security and pensions will become solvent again.

The Drill SGT said...

Great quote from a California Liberal and former politican, Willie Brown:


If we as a state want to make a New Year's resolution, I suggest taking a good look at the California we have created. From our out-of-sync tax system to our out-of-control civil service, it's time for politicians to begin an honest dialogue about what we've become.

Take the civil service.

The system was set up so politicians like me couldn't come in and fire the people (relatives) hired by the guy they beat and replace them with their own friends and relatives.

Over the years, however, the civil service system has changed from one that protects jobs to one that runs the show.

The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life.

But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.


Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs.


Either we do something about it at the ballot box, or a judge will do something about in Bankruptcy Court. And if you think I'm kidding, just look at Vallejo.

Tony said...

The CEO of public companies are required to sign and approve his company financial statements.

Mayors, county chief execs, governors and the presidents should be required to sign and approve their entity's annual financial statements. That would help to prevent bogus projections that led to these pension excesses. And would help us to idenify who should be arrested.

TosaGuy said...

WI State employees do not pay into their pension system. The state pays their match. Many communities have joined this system...and they pay the employee match for their workers.

This issue will not break down over traditional liberal/conservative lines. It will break on private/public sector and ruling class vs. regular people.

Kev said...

From the linked article:

Mr. Justus, 62, who taught math for 29 years in the Denver public schools, says he thinks it could cost him half a million dollars if he lives another 30 years. He also notes that just about all state workers in Colorado do not (and cannot) pay into Social Security, so the pension is all retirees have to live on unless they have other savings.

It seems like this is one of the main sources of the problem. Wouldn't Social Security be better off if all workers, both public- and private sector (and I mean everyone, including Congresscritters) paid into it, rather than having all these different retirement funds floating around? If we have to have publicly-funded retirement (and I'm not necessarily saying we do), it seems like it would be better to have it all going into and coming from a single place, so one set of politicians could be held accountable for its performance.

The Drill SGT said...

The killer for CO there is the promise to pay 3.5% escalation each year, regardless of whether there was any inflation.

EDH said...

Notice, the contractually defined retirement benefits of public employee contracts cannot be cut, but Social Security can by new legislation. Maybe that's exactly what they meant by New Deal?

In terms of available clawbacks on public pensions, however, the tax law question I have is whether defined benefit retirement income can be taxed differently from other forms of income, as are capital gain, dividends, etc.?

If so, those receiving defined benefit retirements, especially public employees who have long argued for taxing the rich, have something to worry about.

rick said...

HDH said:....To plant this on the unions as you did tells me/all that you don't get it and you are putting up a strawdog to hide what you don't know.

One other point you failed to address Mr Patent Pending, is that these early retirees also receive full health benefits at the expense of taxpayers until they are eligible for medicare. These sweetheart benefits can be laid directly at the doorstep of sweetheart union contracts. In business, it is called ROI. The I in ROI is investment....aka campaign contributions.

lemondog said...

So do the old people still have a duty to die?

He was for death panels before they were death panels.


What's his current view? He is 74 years old.

What amount of pension does he get?

EDH said...

A quick search may provide an answer to my question.

Public employees, be prepared to be hoisted on your own petards.

Notice, even the law that "state tax policy cannot discriminate against federal civil service pensions" is likely to be a federal statute that can be changed.

States are generally free from federal control in deciding how to tax pensions, but some limits apply. State tax policy cannot discriminate against federal civil service pensions. Ten states exclude all federal, state and local pension income from taxation. These include Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York and Pennsylvania. Among these 10 states, only Kansas taxes any Social Security income, but only to the extent it is subject to federal taxation. These 10 states differ on the taxation of retirement income from private-sector sources. Kansas and Massachusetts do not exclude any private-sector retirement income, but most of the others allow a fairly broad exclusion. Kansas residents with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 may exclude Social Security income from state taxes. Pennsylvania allows a full exclusion. Alabama excludes income from defined benefit plans. Hawaii excludes income from contributory plans. Illinois and Mississippi exclude income from qualified retirement plans. Louisiana, Michigan and New York cap the private-sector exclusion at $6,000, $34,920 and $20,000, respectively.

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lemondog said...

Public employees, be prepared to be hoisted on your own petards.

City of Maywood, CA got rid of all city workers and outsourced everything.

California Cash Crunch in Maywood, City Outsources Everything

Luke Lea said...

And after 40 years of steady economic growth! Chalk it up to trade, immigration, and labor saving technology.

If we are not careful we will end up with a racially stratified class society characterized by never-ending ethnic tensions and economic insecurity.

Is this what the ten thousand wealthiest families in America want? Because they are the ones responsible.

Luke Lea said...

I should point out that things don't have to be this way.

The answer to labor-saving technology is a shorter workweek.

The answer to immigration is a moratorium.

The answer to trade is a graduated consumption tax on the wealthy to redistribute the economic pie.

John Stodder said...

To plant this on the unions as you did tells me/all that you don't get it and you are putting up a strawdog to hide what you don't know.

Oh, please.

The payer/payee ratio problem was apparent when the wage and pension demands were made and acceded to. If the unions didn't want to deal with it, that's understandable. Unbridled greed shouldn't be expected to have a conscience. But don't pretend this wasn't foreseeable, and I mean decades ago. The elected officials whose minions "negotiated" these contracts (I'll pause for a second while everyone laughs at the use of the word "negotiated" to describe a process of sheer payback for campaign services rendered) were derelict in their duty if they didn't try to figure out their state or city's ability to fulfill these promises. But I don't hear any of them apologizing. Their hands are still out to the unions who made their careers.

The fatal historical error was in allowing public employees to organize into unions. During the New Deal, they didn't have that right.

But ultimately, we have to blame ourselves as voters (or non-voters), and secondarily, the news media that's supposed to keep us informed about our democratic institutions. We let the unions take over many state and local governments because too many of us didn't bother to educate ourselves on the candidates for obscure offices like state assembly or city controller; too many of us got flyers in the mail or saw ads on TV declaring that so-and-so was "for working families" and didn't parse the real meaning of that phrase, and thought foolishly that we were the working families being discussed; too many of us just didn't vote, figuring that bemused cynicism was a safer stance. Our apathy let the foxes take over the henhouses and then hand us the bill for all the additional chickens they ordered -- with our own signatures on the contract.

We will have to pay these fucking unbelievable, greedy awful pensions because our duly elected representatives were given the power to sign our names to the contracts, and contracts must be honored. The only way out is for these government entities to declare bankruptcy, but in many jurisdictions, unions have foreclosed that option as well. Get ready to pay. But don't buy into the bullshit, and make sure you don't reward the assholes who stuck you with the bill.

John Stodder said...

Devout liberals obviously think that the biggest enemy of their dreams for society is the right wing, and all the usual sources of right wing political power, such as business, social conservatives, bigots, etc.

They are wrong.

The biggest enemy of liberalism are the public employee who have pretended to be their allies, but are really just pimping the public's concern for things like education and health care to get money.

You could foresee what would happen, which is now happening. When it's crunch time, when it's a choice between paying the public employees/retirees and continuing needed public services, well, granny, kids, you in a wheelchair, you wanting to use the library...you obviously didn't make enough campaign contributions, because you're out of luck.

Larry J said...

We will have to pay these fucking unbelievable, greedy awful pensions because our duly elected representatives were given the power to sign our names to the contracts, and contracts must be honored.

Contracts are broken all of the time. If/when the burden of public employee retirement benefits becomes too heavy, then those benefits will have to be reduced even for current retirees. There is precedent - the military retirees.

When push comes to shove, the federal, state and local governments will have to cut those retirement benefits or face a tax revolt. Attempt to raise my taxes beyond a point and I'll either leave the area or elect officials who'll break those retirement benefits contracts. No one is under the obligation to fulfill a contract that can't be fulfilled without bankrupting yourself.

Lisa said...

Those of you blaming this mess on public workers, you need to think twice.

My father had a pension plan for 20 years and then his company traded it for a 401k which they contributed to. Public workers, until very recently, made far less than those in the private sector with the same education and taxpayers, government decided it was better to offer a pension instead of current pay increases. That was always the trade off... lower pay now for increased security in the future.

Only the governments didn't fund the pensions or when they did, they raided the funds. The pension fund that I belong to is underwater not because it was underfunded but because Republicans raided it in the 90s so they could cut taxes. The same thing happened all over this country.

Unfortunately, what has also happened is a devaluing of the American worker. Companies have used the last several economic slowdowns or recessions as excuses to cut benefits, cut jobs and have refused to restore them when their profits increased. Where did these profits go? To the top level and investors in the form of dividends... whose tax rate has been cut to a pitiful 15%.

The problem with pensions is not the fault of public workers. It is the fault of politicians who've offered tax cuts for the rich to the point that labor is taxed more than investment! It is the fault of the CEOs who have lined their pockets at the expense of labor.

Seven Machos said...

Perfectly succinct and true. Give that a man a cabinet position.

Seven Machos said...

Reading through these comments, I feel compelled to note what I don't see: the New Deal was predicated on, among other things, the completely conventional notion at the time that two parents would have three or four or seven kids. Pensions and social security make perfect sense with four people paying a little bit for every two old people who need a small check every month until for a few years until they die.

Now, we have a situation where we have one or two people paying for every two old people, and, as noted already, those old people are living a lot longer.

The problem of left-liberals is, as usual, the problem off utterly contradictory goals: wanting people to live longer, wanting to pay people with government money for no good or service in return, and wanting to have fewer people in society.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And you don't need to.

The replacement of the industrial economy with the knowledge economy means that the primary resource is unexcludable, has no rivals and reduces the probability of asymmetric information to a near nullity.

It's also bad for capitalists but that's not my problem.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I don't know how things stand at the state and local levels, but federal workers' pension entitlements are established by statute, not by contract. The political branches can limit them anytime by changing the law (and I say the sooner, the better).

AJ Lynch said...

If a person sets aside 15% of their annual earnings every year, there should be enough money after 40 years to cover a secure retirement and pay their health insurance premiums and maybe leave some money to the kids.

Do any of you people understand that we pay 15% into soc security and medicare during our working years? So what did the bastards do with all that money?

Cause facts are important and it is critcal that all Americans understand the arithmetic of this and the magnitude of how much these criminals in Congress have misappopriated.

Seven Machos said...

The replacement of the industrial economy with the knowledge economy means that the primary resource is unexcludable, has no rivals and reduces the probability of asymmetric information to a near nullity.

Clearly, this is erroneous. The channeling of the borstal institution with the integrative power complex absolutely does not require that the cardinal initiative is ineradicable, has many disaccordant functions, and exponentially escalates the diathesis of deviative visible-speech data to a propinque peu de chose.

The Drill SGT said...

John Stodder said...(I'll pause for a second while everyone laughs at the use of the word "negotiated" to describe a process of sheer payback for campaign services rendered)

The Best example of that may be Montgomery County, Md, just NW of DC.

It's a Democratic county, if you win the primary, you get elected to the Council. The Teacher's Union indorsement is huge in winning the primary...

Incestous relationship is such that in order to get the Teacher's indorsement, politicans MUST PAY (e.g. donate) to the Teachers.

Needless to say, any councilmember that opposes pay raises and pension kickers is toast.


Another example. My Brother and Sister inlaw (both younger than 57)are retired California Public school teachers with a beach house. When I was last out for a wedding, they were still employed, and the union was pressing the school district to take an operating surplus and turn it into medical benefits for retired teachers....

The Drill SGT said...

Lisa said...Public workers, until very recently, made far less than those in the private sector with the same education and taxpayers, government decided it was better to offer a pension instead of current pay increases. That was always the trade off... lower pay now for increased security in the future.

Yeah, but now they don't. Not only that, California Public safety employees who already earn more than $100K a year, have a sweet deal. They get 3% of their salary times trheir years of service, so a cop can reire at 51 after 30 years with 90% of this "Last year" salary. Then with to support of supervisors, you wokr lots of overtime you last year, then turn in 6 months of excess vacation and sick leave, doubling your last year salary, and thus making your retirement pay for the next 30 years roughly $180k/yr from your $100k job.

Then you get a second job, and wait for the automatic 3.5% retirement increases to kick in...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think Palladian was onto something the other day when he wondered about the effects of fitting one's la lucha mask too tightly.

Behold the anti-Plato! If la lucha had his way, he'd declare a pox on Plato and replace philosopher-kings with ignorant assholes like himself.

I wonder what it's like to be so simultaneously stupid and self-centered that you would declare anything you're incapable of understanding to be inherently gibberish.

It's possible that even a capuchin monkey would recognize that letters and words have a purpose. Not so with la lucha. His hill of foreskins (or whatever) contains all the meaning (and purpose) that he needs.

He's the dumbest dickhole south of the border!

Seven Machos said...

Whatever you say, Meadowlark.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

That was about as cutting as the one about rubber and glue.

You do realize that you're declaring basic economic terms to be off-limits in a post about economics, right?

Or maybe you need to tighten the mask a bit more.

It must suck that such stupidity as yours is not yet as fashionable as you would like.

AJ Lynch said...

Thanks Seven, now I have that Globetrotters tune stuck in my head.

Seven Machos said...

Whatever you say, Curly.

Seven Machos said...

No gal made has got a shade on sweet georgia brown!
Two left feet but oh so neat, has sweet georgia brown!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Whatever you say, Nowhere Man.

The mask must be tightened further!

Seven Machos said...

I am sorry that I turned this thread into a big dribble. I had to do it. Ritmo Urban Dribbler made me.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Go read some Glenn Reynolds. Maybe he'll break it down for you.

Econ 101 is as abstruse as quantum mechanics, or so says butthead.

And if you protest the point, he'll throw around some meaningless one-line insults.

A line like "confederacy of dunces" was made to describe machos.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"Drivel" is an important word to people for whom snobbery is more important than intelligence. It helps reinforce their self-image.

Seven Machos said...

I have an economics degree, Dribbler. Your problem is that you make no sense whatsoever. We have been over this. It's not that your dribbling is somehow superior. It's that your dribbling is an utterly vacuous string of big words.

Your failure to understand the difference between dribble and drivel completely exposed you for what you are. There's nothing worse that faux intellectualism.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I have an economics degree, Dribble.

If you don't want to be exposed as someone who is a liar, then you wouldn't go on a rampage about three basic economic concepts that have been greatly impacted by the technology not available before 1980. Either that or go back to the community college you went to, and demand either a refund, or a couple refresher courses in history.

It's not that your dribbling is somehow superior.

Superior? Who's exposing his insecurity now? I mentioned snobbery for a reason. I never said anything about superior.

You obsess about "superiority" because you feel like an idiot. Not because I said you were one. And that says something about you, not me.

Your failure to understand the difference between dribble and drivel completely exposed you for what you are.

And what is that? Someone less obsessed with basketball, "faux-populism" or spelling at 2 AM than you are? Ok. I plead guilty. I also don't use the word "drivel" much, if ever. Guilty of not being as opinionated and incapable of debate or reason as you.

There's nothing worse that faux intellectualism.

There's nothing worse than someone so afraid of intellect (or maybe their lack of one), that they equate the discussion of an idea - any idea - with "faux intellectualism".

Seven Machos said...

Sure, Connie. Whatever you say.

Anglelyne said...

Larry J: ...this isn't going to end well.

This Isn't Going To End Well. This Is Not Going To End Well. I'm surprised this hasn't been acronymized yet, its frequency of us having gone up exponentially in the last few years: TIGTEW. TINGTEW. Which sounds better?

(There should be a game where you compete to compose meaningful sentences with as many acronyms as possible. Goal: a grammatical, meaningful, acronym-only sentence.)

John Stodder said...

Public workers, until very recently, made far less than those in the private sector with the same education and taxpayers, government decided it was better to offer a pension instead of current pay increases. That was always the trade off... lower pay now for increased security in the future.

This paragraph is stored in the computers of every hack journalist who approaches this topic. But it's not been "until very recently." Public employee salaries have been jumping up and up for 25+ years.

Check this out: http://controller.lacity.org/ssLINK/LACITYP_011089

It's a list of the salaries for every City of Los Angeles worker. The reverse of what Lisa says is true. There are hundreds of jobs in here whose salary, not inclusive of benefits, pension or overtime, are far more than what you could get in the private sector. This is the last bonanza for semi-skilled workers, not to mention office drones.

Anglelyne said...

HDHouse: ...it was a loosing proposition.

Is that the opposite of a binding proposition?

...and you are putting up a strawdog to hide what you don't know.

Loose the strawdogs to devour the strawman!

(Don't mind me folks. Return to your serious discussion.)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Seven machos is one of the only avatars in the internets who actually believes that "I'm not listening to you! Na nah!" is an argument for anything.

But he has "exposed" himself as someone as insecure and snobby as he is ignorant of history.

He is a credit to anyone who wonders if economics has as far to go as biology did before Darwin, as chemistry did before Lavoisier, as physics did before Newton, etc...

Seven Machos said...


Da da DA da da DA da dadada

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

For context, Seven machos is the guy who believes that the fact that homosexuals can marry heterosexuals is a good argument to demonstrate that their rights are not infringed. He even seemed to think he could convince a SCOTUS justice with this, er, drivel.

He rambled on with it like a drunk the other night.

There's a reason he likes one-liners. He is his own one-liner. A rambling, incoherent string of them.

The idea of the sound-bite was once a very insightful observation and practice. But machos never quite got the message that they were not supposed to become the stuff of thought.

AC245 said...

The channeling of the borstal institution with the integrative power complex absolutely does not require that the cardinal initiative is ineradicable, has many disaccordant functions, and exponentially escalates the diathesis of deviative visible-speech data to a propinque peu de chose.
...
It's that your dribbling is an utterly vacuous string of big words.


You've just now noticed, Seven?

All of MUL's output is just variations on the "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" theme.

Seven Machos said...

There is also no law against homosexuals marrying homosexuals anywhere in this wonderfully free country.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

There goes Machos. Proving that when all else fails, he couldn't even stand to take himself all that seriously.

In Machos' Confederacy of Dunces two homosexuals can marry in a legally recognized way as long as one is a gay man and the other a lesbian. Sheer brilliance! All intellect in the universe shudders at the carrollian self-parody that is machos' best effort at convincing anyone of anything!

Seven Machos said...

State recognition isn't germane to legality. There is no punishment for gay people who marry gay people. Men can and do marry men.

If I drive without a drivers license I face punishment. If I build without a proper zoning license I face punishment. If I marry someone of my own gender I face no punishment. Even idiots who use words well above their level of education and understanding should be able to fathom this simple distinction.

somefeller said...

There is also no law against homosexuals marrying homosexuals anywhere in this wonderfully free country.

Nice bit of sophistry. While there aren't any laws forbidding homosexuals from engaging in marriage ceremonies with one another, such marriages aren't legally recognized as marriages (with the bundle of rights that come with marriage) in most places. And when people talk about legalizing gay marriage, that's what they are talking about. You're playing a language game, and one that isn't very convincing.

Seven Machos said...

The state has no interest in recognizing gay marriages. It also has no interest in you maturbating furiously tonight. Neither act is punishable and is therefore perfectly legal.

Alex said...

Ritmo, HDHouse and somefeller have showed up to squat and plant their steaming pile of smelly dung on this website. I can already see the flies buzzing about the pile.

Methadras said...

I would rather dig up Lyndon Johnson so I can shoot him for giving us the War on Poverty, then piss on him for what it's done to this county and how much it has cost us with little to nothing to show for it. Fuck him and fuck anyone who thinks it benefited us at all. We are still dealing with the aftershocks of JFK's assassination. His death was a clear turning point in this country that has had profound repercussions on us all and still does. People always wonder, hey, what is the most identifiable moment in history that had a visible and direct view on a sea change for a country, well, the JFK assassination was it. Now look at what we have because of it.

somefeller said...

The state has no interest in recognizing gay marriages. It also has no interest in you maturbating furiously tonight. Neither act is punishable and is therefore perfectly legal.

Still playing language games. The issue is whether or not gay marriages should be given legal recognition, and in the vernacular, that means making them legal. Your line of argument is the sort of thing that may be fun to play around with in a law school bull session, but when we are talking about this issue in real terms, playing the legal = not punishable under law language game won't get you very far.

And as far as state interests are concerned, enforcing equal protection rights is a state interest. As a judge in California just ruled in such matters. Whether or not he'll be upheld is another question, but it simply isn't enough to state that since gay people who marry one another in private ceremonies won't be sent to jail (thanks Lawrence v. Texas, to the extent consummation might be an issue), then the issue of the legalization of gay marriage is done.

Seven Machos said...

There is no fundamental right to legal recognition of private contracts. I am all for gay marriage if people want to recognize it in their communities. They don't want to.

The judge will be overruled.

somefeller said...

The judge will be overruled.

We'll see. A couple of days ago I would have said you're probably right. However, seeing some of the commentary the proprietor of this website has posted on this topic and commentary I've seen elsewhere makes me less sure of that. Ted Olson appears to have done his job well.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

State recognition isn't germane to legality.

It's germane to equality, Senor Snob. Or, as I believe (if I'm not just pushing "drivel") you legal sophists call it, equal protection.

Now either come up with a decent idea or shut up.

Seven Machos said...

A law against something or mandating something is different than a government refusing to recognize something. There is no violation of civil rights here. The judge's opinion is a series of grandiose conclusions.

Seven Machos said...

There is nothing unequal, Dribbler. The corporation of marriage requires one male and one female. Age and familial relationship qualifications vary slightly.

No one is not allowed to participate in a marriage corporation recognized by the state.

The district court decision will be overruled.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I am all for gay marriage if people want to recognize it in their communities. They don't want to.

There he goes disregarding the whole federalism and states being obliged to honor contracts recognized in other states thing.

As well as the fact that he pretends to know what one community, let alone some fictive, generic community encompassing the whole country wants.

The next generation sees what he doesn't and as their opinion becomes that of "the public" at large, machos will relent and pretend to find a reason for validating the obvious.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

There is nothing unequal, Dribbler. The corporation of marriage requires one male and one female. Age and familial relationship qualifications vary slightly.

At one point, so did qualifications of race. Or as it applies to gay marriage, the fact that a person of one race was attracted to one of another and vice versa.

Prohibiting gay marriage means you are discriminating on the basis of one's attraction to the same sex. Not the same as prohibiting on the basis of one's attraction to another race, but the point stands.

Of course, I understand this may seem very abstruse and legally improper to someone given to seeing marriage as an economic arrangement alone, and one where love doesn't play a role. But I'll leave it to you to figure how such a robotic and inhumane perspective might figure into your own strange position on the matter.

Seven Machos said...

states being obliged to honor contracts recognized in other states thing

This is simply wrong. A state is absolutely not required to honor a contract recognized in another state. States must recognize the legislation and judicial rulings of other states.

As well as the fact that he pretends to know what one community, let alone some fictive, generic community encompassing the whole country wants

I know what California people want because the issue in the gay marriage lawsuit is a ballot initiative supported by a large majority of the people of California.

Your dribbling is really funny, Dribbler. Wrong, but funny.

Idiot.

Seven Machos said...

Discrimination based on race is explicitly prohibited by the Constitution and by federal law.

Where is any provision of the Constitution prohibiting discrimination based on who you want to fuck?

One other thing: governments discriminate all the time based on all sorts of factors. Fifteen-year-olds cannot drive. Women cannot face many sorts of combat in the military. People who like to have sex with animals face a wealth of discrimination.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

One other thing: governments discriminate all the time based on all sorts of factors. Fifteen-year-olds cannot drive. Women cannot face many sorts of combat in the military. People who like to have sex with animals face a wealth of discrimination.

All of which have respectable reasons and arguments for allowing which your discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation lacks.

But thanks for throwing in the reference to "who you want to fuck". Would you appreciate your own marriage (or the marriage of straight couples) being reduced to nothing more than such overtly sexualized terms? Your base view of homosexuality is slipping. Either that, or your idea of love is very warped and narrow.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I know what California people want because the issue in the gay marriage lawsuit is a ballot initiative supported by a large majority of the people of California.

Where did I make reference to California? And let's nevermind the fact that the decision rested beyond the results of that vote.

Idiot.

Seven Machos said...

The state's perspective on marriage has nothing to do with love, nor should it. From the state's perspective, marriage is a property arrangement and an arrangement that has an affect on the well-being of children.

Seven Machos said...

As well as the fact that he pretends to know what one community, let alone some fictive, generic community encompassing the whole country wants

California is one community, is it not?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I know what California people want because the issue in the gay marriage lawsuit is a ballot initiative supported by a large majority of the people of California.

Unless I read him wrong, machos' idea of "a large majority" is 52.24% to 47.76%.

Not sure why someone would refer to a 4.5% margin as "a large majority". Unless, of course, that person is an idiot.

We'll see what Ted Olson can do at the federal level. I mean, he's no Seven Machos. But I do get the impression he knows what he's doing. And probably has a shitload more experience doing it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

California is one community, is it not?

So what? You said:

"I am all for gay marriage if people want to recognize it in their communities. They don't want to."

Which sounds like a pretty universal statement. If you didn't mean it that way then why not just say so and move on? Unless playing word games is more your thing than attending to actual arguments.

Seven Machos said...

Dribbler -- I find it hilarious that you pass off grossly wrong statements about how states interpret contract law but quibble with the meaning of the word large.

Your utter and complete sense of self-unawareness is worthy of scientific study.

Seven Machos said...

I am all for gay marriage if people want to recognize it in their communities. The vast majorities of communities have demonstrated that they don't want to. In communities where people want to recognize gay marriage, that is equally fine with me.

I believe in democracy as the basis for the rule of law.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The state's perspective on marriage has nothing to do with love, nor should it. From the state's perspective, marriage is a property arrangement and an arrangement that has an affect on the well-being of children.

Then I suppose the arrangement of allowing a restraining order against an abusive spouse is also made in consideration of the well-being of children.

But let's go ahead and pretend that love and other aspects of a functional relationship have no bearing on marriage in the state's eyes.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Dribbler -- I find it hilarious that you pass off grossly wrong statements about how states interpret contract law but quibble with the meaning of the word large.

Your utter and complete sense of self-unawareness is worthy of scientific study.


It would be more interesting to find a single political scientist who thinks this supposed sentiment against gay marriage is only going to grow, instead of continually abate - let alone one who finds as much meaning in a 4.5% voting margin as you do. But of course, that might require you to take the idea of scientific studies seriously in the first place.

Mick said...

How could someone raised by a Nazi not have some socialism in his mental makeup? I mean the guy wears a Totenkopf belt buckle in public, for god's sake!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

lol

Seven Machos said...

I have made no statement on how people will feel about or vote on gay marriage in the future. Your mind has once again failed you.

But tell us, Dribbler. Tell us where you find support for the proposition that states are bound to honor the contracts of other states.

allowing a restraining order against an abusive spouse

There is no special law that offers restraining orders against abusive spouses. There are laws that offer restraining offers against abusive individuals. They don't concern marriage.

Seven Machos said...

Furthermore, which state statute concerning marriage requires that the parties to the marriage love each other? Please enlighten us, Ritmo Urban Dribbler, about this esoteric law.

Robin said...

There is a reason that no one listens to Dick Lamm.

Bruce Hayden said...

The killer for CO there is the promise to pay 3.5% escalation each year, regardless of whether there was any inflation.

The other part of the problem is that the CO Legislature cannot raise taxes without it going on the ballot, where it will most typically lose.

The difference though is that the inability to raise taxes without the permission of the voters is constitutional, whereas the automatic raises would be statutory.

fboness said...

It's all about the demographics. In the sixties the big demographic enchilada was the leading edge of the Boomer generation entering the workforce in numbers.

Now we have the mirror to the sixties with Boomers beginning to leave the workforce in numbers. Why does this surprise anyone? Boomers are reaching retirement age and, uh, retiring.

Bruce Hayden said...

Lamm has always been different, not willing to accept the status quo. Back in the 1970s, I didn't appreciate him when he led the rejection of the 1976 Olympics, and then beat the step-father of one of my fraternity brothers for governor.

But since then, especially after he left office, my estimation has grown - usually.

I last saw him a couple of years ago at a funeral. Late in the service our minister asked if anyone wanted to say something, and the guy sitting right in front of me stood up and talked for maybe ten minutes on education. I hadn't recognized him because his hair has gone white. But it was the Dick Lamm that Coloradoans had grown to love and hate. We figured that, as a former politician, he couldn't forgo the chance to speak. And then the guy next to him, the former superintendent of schools for Denver(or something like that) stood up and did the same.

Still, I appreciate that Lamm has been brave enough to speak against any number of liberal sacred cows over the years.

Rolland said...

Godwin's Law has been invoked. This thread is now over. Please move along. Nothing left to see here.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law?wasRedirected=true

Seven Machos said...

Wait'll Mick brings out the birther shit.

Gray Hat said...

Excellent article by McGinnis and Schanzenbach, "The Case Against Public Sector Unions":

http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/43266

It anticipates, and provides a theoretical justification for, the indignation expressed in many of the comments to this post.

Bruce Hayden said...

There are hundreds of jobs in here whose salary, not inclusive of benefits, pension or overtime, are far more than what you could get in the private sector. This is the last bonanza for semi-skilled workers, not to mention office drones.

It appears that the place where public employees are overpaid, in comparison with their private counterparts, and ignoring benefits for a moment, is, indeed, the less highly skilled. Professionals, such as attorneys tend to make less than their private counterparts, which is why the overall numbers do not seem as out of whack as they really are. That DMV clerk may be earning twice what she would if in the private sector, given her credentials. That sort of thing.

It was one thing, when government employees made up for lower salaries with better benefits, but now their salaries are often higher for comparable jobs, while having substantially better benefits, and much lower accountability.

As pointed out above, it will end, because it has to end. And, President Obama, with his repeated naked payoffs to state and local government employees in trade for their contributions and armies of political foot soldiers, may be the inadvertent instigator for this change.

GMay said...

"Clearly, this is erroneous. The channeling of the borstal institution with the integrative power complex absolutely does not require that the cardinal initiative is ineradicable, has many disaccordant functions, and exponentially escalates the diathesis of deviative visible-speech data to a propinque peu de chose."

This was the thread winner. Hell, I'll give it blog winner for like the last week.

Seven Machos said...

Thanks, GMay.

newscaper said...

Ritmo,

Marriage is fundamentally about having families -- something uniquely inherent in the nature of man-woman couplings in a way that it decidedly is not for G&L. 'Marriage' bundles up issues of paternal support in return for sexual exclusivity and the presumption of paternity, which also ties into inheritance, issues which the larger community does have an interest in supporting. It results in more prosperity as offspring are well provided for -- a man will work harder for children he has good reason
to believe are his own. Additionally, intra-tribe strife and male violence are reduced more by the monogamous variety (where cheating still occurs but is frowned upon, and even if the man strays the 'wife' and her kids retains status.)

An understanding of human culture
from history and evolutionary psychology show some form of this is virtually a human universal and not some arbitrary 'funny hat' artifact of culture. It also shows that in the few pre-modern cultures that had 'gay marriage' of some sort, it was clearly a mere aping of the real thing, and not something existing in its own right. And this is not exclusively the product of an oppressive jdaeo-christian patriarchy as the usual suspects would have us believe.

Marriage is not about 'love' per se. Don't confuse how modern couples choose their mates (versus the arious degrees of family-approved/ arranged marriages of elsewhere/when) with what the institution itself is about.

All of the 'it's about the equal protection, stupid' arguments try to gloss over the question of what marriage itself *is*, unconvincingly.

The derided "everyone already does have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex" witticism is more on the mark than you want to admit.

In ignoring what marriage is (and by doing so rather sneakily redefining away its real meaning and importance w/o making a case on the merits), one may as well insist that we grant driver's licenses to the blind in the name of fairness or 'equal protection'.

Seven Machos said...

Newscaper makes the case for why a community would sensibly choose not to recognize gay marriage and not to extend the rights and responsibilities of the marriage corporation beyond a grouping of one male and one female. There are at least a dozen rational bases for nonrecognition in that post alone, and I hope that Anthony Kennedy reads it and takes copious notes.

newscaper said...

I'd also add, regarding monogamy versus polygamy (really polygyny**), that a pure libertarian argument would support it among consenting adults, however everywhere in history that it has been a norm, it has resulted in reduced status/power for women. So principle must pay heed to its practical result.
ALso, polygamy promotes inter-tribe strife as well as 'intra' == example: part of the fuel (and reward) for violent jihad was the unbalanced supply of women at home and the promise of women from conquered lands. Worry about China in the next 20 years.

Another angle on the 'equal protection' bit -- since straight couples are inherently at risk of having kids (even if unintentionally) and SS couples inherently are *not*, the stakes are not at all the same or 'equal'. SSM smacks of 'playing house'.

[FWIW I do have some sympathy for SS couples with kids, so that makes mine a 98% argument rather than a 100% one -- but SS couples don't get credit for children who are the victims of a prior het divorce (most of them) because the woman supposedly 'found her true self' or just as likely 'switched' teams after bad experience with a man.]

M-F couples who either cannot have children and those who don't want children (but may change their minds later or have an 'accident') ingetting married still support the larger instituion by following the form, and still benefits society by encouraging ordered M-F sexual relations as the norm. Again, SSM just does not fit in the same way.

One usual responses to the charge that same-sex marriage weakens 'marriage' as I have defined it above is "that's bogus, look at the het divorce rate." But that point means the exact opposite of what its proponents suggest:
The fact is that the same liberals already pushed 'no fault' divorce, encouraged women to pull the trigger at the expense of their kids, and obtained nearly complete de-stigmatizaion of divorce. The fact they previously *succeeded* in weakening the instituion of marriage in no way refutes the charge that that is what they are up to now.

** re polygyny versus polyandry... the latter almost *never* occurs, and when it does (as in the much touted token case of some Himalayan tribe) it again fails to mean what the liberals who point it out think -- it is almost always two brothers sharing a wife (in harsh impoverished conditions) so any kid is , worst case, a niece or nephew and not a strangers -- fitting selfish gene theory as the next best thing to having your own. And they are ususally temporary -- once some more resources have been accumulated, the younger brother leaves to get his own wife.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

ALso, polygamy promotes inter-tribe strife as well as 'intra' == example: part of the fuel (and reward) for violent jihad was the unbalanced supply of women at home and the promise of women from conquered lands. Worry about China in the next 20 years.

newscaper, I live in India and I am counting on the Himalayas and our supposed nuclear weapons to prevent the Chinese from having any ideas.

India will face a similar problem with respect to the gender imbalance and I am wonder what this is going to do the institution of marriage in certain parts of the country.

How ever China faces what seems to be a much larger problem and this could very easily lead to a social upheaval that is frightening to even imagine.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

@newscaper,
I am for gay marriage and even attended an anti-Prop8 protest rally in Chicago after the CA elections.. seems like yesterday !

You make quite a lot of valid points about how marriage as we know it today and have done so for thousands of years is unique and SSM does not fit into any of these known rationales for the very concept of marriage.

How ever, proponents such as myself tend to hope that the same opportunity for societal organization/cohesion is offered to gay couples themselves. A large part of this movement is driven by how much influence Government has over issues such as taxation of married couples, the benefits they receive etc

But i think in the end, many gay people want to be largely accepted by society as ***completely*** normal/equal. They want to announce their compact of monogamy, love for each other to their family, friends and yes even total strangers... and since its only normal for two people who want to get married to actually be married, why should this not be available to the normal.. sorry.. gap people ?

Society has largely accepted that sexual orientation of gays is something over which they have no control.. but it has not come to the point where it could accept them as "just like any other people", atleast not when it comes to marriage. Prop8 voters seemed to want to draw a line with respect to marriage.

Of course there are also people within the gay community who are satisfied with civil unions - Elton John to the surprise and chagrin of many gay activists said that he had no problem with mere civil unions alone. Even he seemed to have doubts over gay marriage.

But the supreme irony here is that a significant number of gays have largely moved away from the counter culture of the early 70's and now want to be a part of mainstream tradition :=)I dont really think Harvey Milk would have been a huge proponent of gay marriage but i could be wrong.

Jack Okie said...

Nagarajan Sivakumar:

When thinking about "rights", it is useful to expand the territory beyond the principally British colonists who created the Constitution. Was the hunter-gatherer 20,000 years ago endowed with the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? Did the Egyptians who labored on the pyramids have the right of free speech? Did the Rajput at Rajasthan have an individual right to self-defense?

Is there a "right" to marry - a negative right like those covered in the First Amendment? Or is a formal marriage a privilege dependent on the culture and society one finds oneself in?

"Marriage" or "Civil Union", the best reason I've seen to enter into one is so you've got someone to watch your back.

wv: merri. Will you merri me?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Marriage is fundamentally about having families --

Not to machos' mind. Machos thinks it's about "fucking", to wit - "who you want to fuck".

But at least you could provide him some actual observations that might matter. They might provide him with some of the perspective he sorely lacks. And it's good to know that g-unit could waltz on in at the 11th hour to provide him with the backslapping recognition that an actual court hearing these other matters doesn't and won't.

Machos thrives on recognition. Unlike those legally invisible gays.

As someone else said:

Still playing language games. The issue is whether or not gay marriages should be given legal recognition, and in the vernacular, that means making them legal. Your line of argument is the sort of thing that may be fun to play around with in a law school bull session, but when we are talking about this issue in real terms, playing the legal = not punishable under law language game won't get you very far.

Machos still thinks he's in school.

Whichever community college gave him the idea that he has a special privilege to discuss certain ideas, that should somehow be withheld from discussion by others, must have been the same place that instilled this annoying sense of elitism in him.

He does bullshit with the best, though.

Johnny1A said...

It's interesting how often people fail to distinguish between the New Deal and the Great Society, including and maybe especially the people who set up the Great Society. The 'dreams of the 60s' are in fact rather different in essence from the basis of the Great Society.

Any discussion of the New Deal has to recognize that it did a great deal of good, like it or not, best way to do that good or not. Also, no human democratic society has ever long tolerated pure 100% 19th century liberal capitalism. You practically have to enforce it at gunpoint, people simply won't tolerate that level of risk if they don't have to do so.

OTOH, the Great Society's core assumptions derived from the idea that you can reengineer human society like some kind of machine, under the guidance of 'experts'. It's different in spirit from the New Deal, though those who set up the Great Society like to pretend to themselves and others that they were just 'finishing the work'.

Today's governing elite, in their incompetence and self-aggrandizement, are the products not of the New Deal, but of the Great Society of Johnson, coupled to the narcissitic mindset youthful upper-class baby boomers, now grown rancid.

Seven Machos said...

Ritmo Urban Dribbler -- I specifically asked

Where is any provision of the Constitution prohibiting discrimination based on who you want to fuck?

Nothing about love. Your fertile mind continues to make unwarranted leaps.

Anyway, about those laws that mandate love as part of a marriage, and about the way that, say, Alabama must enforce a contract made in Maine...we are waiting for you to produce the secret law known only to you that specifies these novelties.